CAIRO: Egypt has criticized Ethiopia for what it said were “false claims” following the Arab League’s backing of Egypt and Sudan over the disputed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project.
A league resolution supported Egypt and Sudan’s call for a legally binding agreement over the operation of the dam, which they say unfairly allows Ethiopia to control the Nile’s resources.
Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Egypt’s decision to involve the Arab League was “an affront to the African Union and its member states” and a “deliberate mischaracterisation” of its position.
Cairo hit back on Wednesday, saying that the statement was “a desperate attempt to drive a wedge” between Arab and African countries and that Ethiopia had no right to speak for the entire continent.
Ahmed Abu Zeid, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said: “Egypt’s history of supporting national struggle movements and liberation from colonialism in Africa, and its efforts and the resources it allocates to support economic and social development and peace-building programs on the continent, are not at all consistent with flimsy allegations that Egypt is mobilizing Arab countries against African interests.”
Egypt receives more than 90 percent of its scarce fresh water from the Nile and fears the dam could devastate its economy, while Ethiopia says the GERD is key to its economic development and power generation.
Sudan is concerned about the dam’s safety and regulating water flows through its own dams and water stations.
As a result, a dispute between the three countries over the filling and operation of the dam remains unresolved.
All three parties signed a declaration of 10 principles in March 2015 in Khartoum. However, Addis Ababa refuses to sign a full agreement on the dam’s operation.